Clearly the labels have changed, but since the beginning of Western-Acknowledged (W.A.) time, if the dominant culture thought you had a drop of African lineage you were a Colored, Black, African American, Negro and so less evolved collections of spite-tainted letters.
My first reference to “race” was being told by my grandmother that we were “Colored.” I noticed that when she disagreed with someone or their actions, they become “Negroes” and occasionally a rendering of the “N” word….then there was James Brown, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!” Grandmom lost her composure…”Black…black-Black Ni____s.” I heard more or her utterances (which I now know we’re idioms of program-induced self-hatred) bashing Afros, African-wear and anything that promoted pride of the gift of melanin.
…and then I went to work with George Clinton, in 1974 and “Funk used to be a baaaad word!” Ha — it WAS a bad word that made her shudder….I tried to explain that FUNK was FUN with a “K” on it and the “K” was for KINDNESS. It didn’t work…to Grandmom, George, the mob and I were Black, Black N — , until……
…I told her the story of the planet called “Funkentelekey” and the global disease called the “Placebo Syndrome.” I spoke to her about the programming by mainstream media, and she had to listen up as NBC provided the fellowship for my graduate studies in Broadcast Management….she found following the tale of the P-Funk stage and recording characters of Sir Nose D’Void of Funk and Star Child, amusing so we “graduated” and I no longer garnered verbal abuses in her house. She would just smile and shake her head…”go ahead child…” some days I thought she accepted my “newfound clarity” and other days I thought she just wanted to quiet me so I wouldn’t get committed to her former employer, St. Elizabeths Hospital (the first Federally operated psychiatric hospital in the US).
My Grandmother passed and handed the “baton” to my very wise Mother who supported my journeys, but always asked questions or made statements in a way that was clarifying and grounding…My Mother was loaded with kernels of wisdom that empowered me and often served as a guide…almost like a silent partner. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” or “just because it’s good to you, doesn’t mean it’s good for you!” I gained a lot of joy and clarity by translating many of the P-Funk “teachings” around me to my Mother and Grandmother, including:
- Free Your Mind and Your Ass will Follow
- One Nation Under a Groove
- Urban Dance Floor Gorillas
- One Nation Under a Groove
So I return to my opening…I have many drops of African lineage and understand the notions, promotions and jealousies about color. I am, will be and want nothing other than to be…..that’s right — — SAY IT LOUD!
duorP & Honored to eB oftofrom_forbyinthru&thru2theboneCOLORED++